Welcome everyone to the selection of the Wairarapa Bush Dream team to take on Auckland.
View at 2.30pm Sunday LIVE STREAMED at https://www.facebook.com/WairarapaBushRugby
The three selectors who have many years of experience at selecting Super Rugby and provincial level teams including a combined 130 years of watching Wairarapa Bush teams between them, they are pleased to announce their final selection.
WBRU thank you all for joining in on this virtual journey and your participation through our social media pages.
The selectors thought it was important to give our fans some insight into our final selections. You may not agree with us but at the end of the day, we need to select a team we felt, had all the right skill sets to match the mighty Aucks.
The selectors believed the game would go deep into the 80-minute mark and a high tempo game. Some things remain after 35 years of rugby since 1985, you need to win your set pieces and you must kick your goals.
This was a simple decision. Sir Brian only played 1 game for the combined union, but we all agreed, who else would you want to have at the helm.
Bob Francis. No questions asked here.
- Touch Judges
Originally Rebecca was named as a referee choice, but we felt you could not go past her mounting international experience not to have her on the side-line. Alistair Payne has a good eye and high knowledge of the rules. His form in the post professional game made him the right choice.
- Front Rowers and Hooker
We needed a rock and you just couldn’t go past Bill Rowlands. With Robbie McLean on the bench we felt we have this covered. Chris Kapene is explosive. Nigel Sargent would provide the much-needed energy and strength off the bench.
Glen Fraser. Glen is an 80-minute man and the team required the size, durability and big engine on the field.
It was the back-up hooker selection we had much debate over. Both Jack and Joe are exceptional players and leaders. This was a line-call and our toughest decision.
We will start with Andrew McLean first as it is possibly the surprise selection in the team. We all believed Andrew would not have been out of place in any the 4 previous decades. He has good ball skills and exceptional line-out ability in the modern game of lifting in lineouts. With his extra height and ability to win the aerial battles Andrew fitted the bill. Late in the game his skill set could become valuable. He also has a turn of pace which is a pre-requisite for covering the blind-side.
We understand a lot of people would have pumped for Andy Earl and we agree, however we wanted to ensure we had options at lineout time.
Buck Anderson was our first-choice lock, so it came down to who would partner him? Auckland will be chucking in some heavy hitters, Haden and Whetton. We wanted to match fire with fire, so Mike McCool gets our nod. Two All Black locks up against two All Black locks – how good is that.
- Loose forward
We all agreed our first choice for open side was Germaine Anaha. He made the NZ Maori side from third division. He is quick and has lovely ball skills. Our best chance we believe in going up against Mark Brooke-Cowden who is a workhorse rather than a ball player. Our point of difference on selection
Mike Fleming is hard nosed and again a line call between him and Joe Wyeth. Either could have filled the role late in the game if we had to tighten it up – tough call this one.
Brett Harvey was a certainty for our lineout and his outstanding rugged general play made him the perfect 6.
Carlos Baker selected himself, a wonderful balanced player and a perfect link for the backs.
- Half Backs
Again, Bernie and Bunter picked themselves. It came down to two things. Bernie was a contender for captaincy and Bunter is an exponent of darting and sniping. Late in the game this could be a real asset.
- 1st V
Phil would easily match up against Steven Pokere and Phil has good vision. Phil will guide the team around the park with ease.
The combination of Marty and Jimmy makes for an exciting pairing with both having strong running games, powerful defences and the ability to set other people up to run off them. Charlie Kaka’s ability to come off the bench and carry the momentum was the x-factor required from this grouping.
They must score tries. Both Fossie and Greg demolished defences and both how to get to the try-line. Both have speed and more importantly incredibly high ball skills. Simanu Simanu is big, strong and fast. He also can cover several positions so comes onto the bench.
Mark Benton all-round skills and x-factor gives him the nod at full back. Mark would also cover 1st V for us the park. Mark is a great communicator; you need that in the big games.
Thanks for being part of the selection process and we will be interested to hear on FB how many of your selections met ours. Let’s get behind the mighty Bush and see how the team goes at 2.30pm today. Live screening on the WB Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WairarapaBushRugby . (Note: The virtual rugby game goes for approximately 40 minutes)
|Coach||Sir Brian Lochore|
|Touch Judges||Rebecca Mahoney
|8||Number 8||Carlos Baker|
|9||Half Back||Bernard Lett (Captain)|
|10||1st V||Phil Rutene|
|12||2nd V||Marty Berry|
|15||Full Back||Mark Benton|
|23||Wing/Full Back||Simanu Simanu|